Five civic groups including the Cyber NGO Archive of Sungkonghoe University jointly produced and launched on July 2 a 35-minute educational CD-ROM entitled <Writing the Story of Peace on Memories of War,> containing a new perspective of the Vietnam War and the fact-finding missions concerning the civilian killings perpetrated by Korean mercenaries.
The Committee on the Truth of the Vietnam War belonging to the Korean House of International Association, the Medical Association for Peace in Vietnam, You and We and a group of young writers who want to understand Vietnam all participated in the production of the CD-ROM. One of them was Professor Han Hong Gu of Sungkonghoe University.
"The CD was produced in an effort to heal past wounds and create a new history of peace by uncovering the truth of civilian killings during the Vietnam War and apologizing for our crimes. By revealing the painful past, we hope to console the Koreans who took part in the Vietnam War in their youth and became both the aggressor and the victim in the process. In this way, we aim to open a new century of peace between our two countries."
Professor Han introduces the CD as "an educational resource that will help not only students but ordinary people realize how meaninglessly violent war really is."
The CD, divided into 4 parts, presents the real story of the Vietnam War and evidence of civilian killings perpetrated by Korean soldiers in the first half. The investigation report by the inspection department of the US Army in Vietnam, released from classified files in 2000, officially confirms the involvement of Korean soldiers in the massacres in three villages that took a total of 95 civilian lives over two years beginning in 1968. The second half of the CD presents the current status of war veterans suffering from the aftermath of defoliants. Theater actress Oh Ji Hye, a fan of Professor Han's literature, gladly agreed to do the narration for the CD.
"It would be inconsistent to angrily condemn the misdeeds of foreign forces such as the Japanese army's enlistment of comfort women and the American soldiers' civilian killings at Nogunri while keeping silent about the massacres we ourselves committed. The time has come for us to teach our students the appalling truth about the Vietnam War in which we were aggressors." In this day and age when we are so obsessed with becoming an advanced country, the professor's words seem to point to the path we should take in becoming a genuinely advanced nation.
For inquiries about the CD-ROM: Sungkonghoe University NGO Archive Tel) +82-2-2610-4741